Portraits of Planet Ocean: The Photography of Brian Skerry

Brian Skerry can be called many things – explorer, journalist, conservation advocate – but he is first and foremost a photographer. His journeys to capture amazing underwater photographs have taken him across the world’s oceans, where he has witnessed some of the most beautiful, diverse, and threatened environments on the planet. Read more about his adventures with sharks and life in the field on his blog.

We asked for your votes to choose the five photos that best represent a "vanishing world" for a crowd-curated section of the exhibit. They, along with 15 of Brian's other photographs, will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC beginning September 17, 2013. Hear from Skerry about capturing some of the images for the exhibit and see what photos won, and what didn't

Two additional ocean exhibits are also opening: "Fragile Beauty: The Art & Science of Sea Butterflies," which shares the story of how ocean acidification is affecting sea butterflies, and the "Living on an Ocean Planet" gallery, which focuses on the human relationship with the ocean. Their opening coincides with the five-year anniversary of the opening of the Sant Ocean Hall.

Thanks for your help!

Brian Skerry flickr page

You can submit your own photos of ocean wildlife to our Flickr group! The best photos, chosen by Brian Skerry himself along with museum curators, will be displayed at the exhibit in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History next year, and on the Ocean Portal.

Learn more about the fascinating career of the award-winning photojournalist Brian Skerry.

Skerry is a regular contributor to the Smithsonian Ocean Portal, sharing his personal experiences, adventures, and fantastic images with you. Explore the latest blogs by Brian Skerry.

- Brian shares some of the stories behind photos of manatees, turtles and sharks on display in "Portraits of Planet Ocean."

- From the Azores, Brian writes about a photographer's life in the field.

- How does he craft the perfect underwater photo?

- The only way to take amazing photos of sharks is to go swimming with them.


Copyright © Brian Skerry

Purchase Ocean Soul, featuring the work of Brian Skerry, at the National Geographic store.

Photo Gallery

Image Gallery: Swimming with Sharks

An oceanic whitetip shark swims near a biologist in the Bahamas.

More Information

Brian Skerry's WebsiteBrian's TED TalkLeatherback Turtle article, featuring Brian Skerry's workRight Whale article, featuring Brian Skerry's workFisheries article, featuring Brian Skerry's workCoral Reef bleaching article, featuring Brian Skerry's work

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Submitted by ShaunMichalew (not verified) on

It is really a very interesting platform for the photographers as well as for them it is very important for them to have a live platform on Flickr.

Submitted by alex (not verified) on

We are currently working on a college paper and we have been exploring your blog for a few hours. Thank you for your post it proved helpful for us.

Submitted by Andrew (not verified) on

At first I thought I was looking at a photoshopped photo of this fish! To my astonishment, it is the real deal! I am also a photographer at ABP - http://www.amandabarkerphoto.ca/ and truly patience is a very rewarding virtue in this biz. Great job Brian!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

That is a very good point! And yes, we all need to watch our littering and we need to stop hurting the place we live in.

Submitted by Fedelia (not verified) on

my next life, definitely fish, a yellow one - too adorable yet seem so sad and frightened.

Submitted by bagreg (not verified) on

wow excellent photograph, i like this type of photograph, thanks for sharing

Gambar Animasi Bergerak

Submitted by Bubbina (not verified) on

I love underwater sea creatures! They're so interesting to watch as they swim along the reefs. What is the most curious discovery that you have found? Mine is about discoveries of new types of sea creatures!